SUVs Sold Out Despite Industry Slowdown

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When carmakers are struggling to sell most of their cars, there is one segment that is going up against all odds. Most people consider not to buy expensive fuel thirsty cars when they are short of funds. But the current situation in the Indian market is exactly the opposite. At a time when fuel prices have shot up and interests rates are sky high, SUV sales in India have increased exponentially.

Demand for SUVs in India has been so high that carmakers are struggling to bring down long waiting lists. Everybody knows the high demand that Mahindra's XUV 500 is enjoying. Mahindra was forced to organize an online lottery so that it could distribute 7,200 XUVs to over 25,000 interested buyers. Mahindra has said it intends to beef up production of the XUV 500 just to cater to local demand.

Another car that is facing huge demand is the Toyota Fortuner. Toyota Kirloskar's MD Marketing Sandeep Singh has stated that the carmaker was receiving about 100 bookings per day for the new face lifted Fortuner. The number is double the number that Toyota received last year. At the current booking levels, The Fortuner has a waiting list of four months.

Even premium SUVs have seen a huge jump in Demand. BMW's X3 and Audi's Q7 have been selling like hot cakes. Although company executives have not revealed particular sales figures of these premium SUVs it is evident that the two mentioned models have turned out to be their best selling cars.

Carmakers are stumped by the increased demand for their SUVs. Experts opine this surge in demand for SUVs has been created by the reduction in the average age of a car buyers. They say young buyers prefer to own big powerful machines that deliver powerful performance and the SUV is the obvious choice.

Carmakers will soon be launching more SUVs in the Indian market. While Mahindra is preparing to launch a mini Xylo, Audi qill launch the Q3 premium SUV. BMW will follow with its X1. Maruti Suzuki is also expected to deliver its first SUV in many years in the production ready version of the XA Alpha concept. Reports say the XA Alpha will be named as the new Gypsy.

Story first published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 11:42 [IST]
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